Dubai rents: 8 ways tenants can negotiate with landlords, real estate agents for lower rates

Strategic communication is key for tenants to convince landlords or property management firms to reduce rents

Tenants have to shell out more as rents have been on the rise in the post-pandemic period across the UAE.

According to Property Finder’s first-quarter report, rents in Dubai jumped 18 per cent as compared to the same period last year. While average rental prices in Q1 2023 rose by seven per cent as compared to Q1 2022 in Abu Dhabi.

Going forward, industry executives say that the upward trend in rents is likely to continue, although at a bit slower pace, as demand continues to grow, driven by an influx of foreigners into the country.

In order to deal with this challenge, tenants in the UAE are required to take certain steps that can provide them with some cushion against rental hikes.

Callum Radford, sales manager, Secondary Market, Residential Brokerage, Colliers, advised tenants to employ effective strategies and approach negotiations with reasons for a fair outcome.

He stressed that strategic communication is key for tenants to convince landlords or property management firms to reduce rents by citing current market conditions, and economic factors impacting rental rates, providing evidence of a positive payment history and demonstrating a long-term commitment to the property can further strengthen their case.

“Conducting thorough market research is essential to identify comparable properties. It is crucial to build a positive relationship with landlords or property management firms through open communication. Strengthening negotiations can be achieved by presenting valid reasons such as changes in property conditions or market conditions. The rental index calculator on the Dubai Rest app is another key tool for tenants in Dubai to prevent rent spikes and ensure compliance with regulated rental increases,” said Radford.

Ayman Youssef, managing director, Coldwell Banker, said tenants should carefully examine their tenancy contract for any clauses related to rent increases because the contract might specify the frequency and percentage of permissible rent increases.

“If your landlord intends to increase the rent, you can use the Rera (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) Rental Calculator to determine the maximum permissible increase. The calculator will consider factors such as the type of property, its location, and the number of years since the last rent increase. By putting in these details, the calculator will provide the maximum allowable percentage increase,” he said.

Here are eight tips to negotiate rent increases. By following these tips, tenants can approach rent increase negotiations with confidence and increase their chances of achieving a favourable outcome.

Utilise the rental index calculator: Take advantage of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) rental index calculator in Dubai, which helps prevent unjustified rent increases

Check with your neighbours: Tenants can also check with other tenants and their neighbours in the building to ascertain if their rents have been increased and how much. This will provide a guide to tenants to better negotiate the rent increase.

Research the market: Gather information on current rental market trends and average rates to understand the context of your negotiation.

Highlight your track record: Emphasise your positive history as a tenant, showcasing your track record for cheque clearing and responsible property upkeep.

Provide valid reasons: Present valid reasons for rent increase reconsideration, such as changes in your financial situation or property condition.

Positive relationship: Approach landlords or property management firms with your concerns politely and professionally.

Maintaining property: It’s important to maintain a positive relationship with your landlord or property management firm throughout the negotiation process.

You can also argue that you have taken good care of the property, and been respectful of the rules and regulations. This can help build trust and increase the chances of a favourable negotiation.

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